Events in Netherlands

Collegium Spinozanum II

An International Summer School on Spinoza and Spinozisms in Their Historical and Philosophical Context

University of Groningen

Full details:

4 – 7 July 2017
Deadline call for papers: 20 April 2017
Deadline for registration: 1 June 2017
BA, MA, PhD, Post-Doc (staff)
Andrea Sangiacomo
PhDs and Post-doc (or staff): 150
Undergraduate students: 100
Bachelor students: 50
Housing (optional):
235 (6 nights)

Built on the success of the previous 2015 edition, the Groningen Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Thought is pleased to announce the second edition of the Collegium Spinozanum, which will take place at the Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Groningen from 4 to 7 July 2017.

This Summer School aims to bring together advanced students and established scholars working broadly on Spinoza’s thought, sources and reception. The goal of the Summer School is to create an international forum to stimulate scholarly exchange and conversations inspired by different approaches and methodologies.

During morning sessions, established scholars in several different areas of Spinoza studies will offer seminars on some of the frontier research topics in the field. Afternoon sessions will consist of discussions of selected papers presented by participants and reading groups on short texts belonging to Spinoza’s works, or significant for the reception of Spinoza’s philosophy.

Scholarships and fee waivers are available.

Seminar: “Meeting Spinoza”

Seminar: ‘Meeting Spinoza: Books, Letters, Networks, Personal Encounters’

Date: October 5-6, 2017

Location: Utrecht, The Netherlands

Confirmed invited speakers: Mogens Laerke (CNRS Lyon), Steven Nadler (Madison-Wisconsin), Antonella del Prete (Tuscia University)


While the old model of Spinoza as a recluse who developed a complete philosophical system in near isolation may no longer dominate scholarship as it once did, the full depth of his interaction with others remains largely unexplored. The seminar ‘Meeting Spinoza: Books, Letters, Networks, Personal Encounters’ seeks to fill this historiographical gap by bringing Spinoza specialists together with other early modern scholars who encounter him through the eyes of the historical figures at the basis of their own research. With the notion of ‘meeting’ in the main title we understand direct engagement with Spinoza during his own lifetime. Nevertheless, as the subtitle conveys, the modality of these meetings may be understood in a wide variety of ways. Papers may therefore consider the reception of Spinoza’s writings, either as they circulated in manuscript form or immediately upon their publication. They may seek to solve specific issues relating to Spinoza’s correspondence, or investigate patterns in his letter writing. We also encourage contributions on the networks in which Spinoza participated, ranging from the Jewish surroundings in which he was raised, to his ambivalent relationship with the Dutch Cartesians, and everything in between, such as the Dutch Collegiant community of his merchant years or even the prominent number of physicians figuring among his associates. A final, related area of interest is constituted by those contemporaries who are known to have met Spinoza in person. This category includes the famous meetings with Henry Oldenburg and Leibniz, but our interest extends also to chance or one-time encounters with lesser known figures, such as the Leiden theologian Salomon van Til. Papers should aim to contribute to our understanding of the man Spinoza, the development of his thought, and the response it evoked, all within the dynamics of the world in which he participated.


Anonymized abstracts (300-500 words) should be sent as a .docx file to Albert Gootjes ( by March 15, 2017; please include a separate attachment with contact information, affiliation, and professional status. Applicants will be notified of the committee’s decision by April 15, 2017.

Limited funds are available to cover travel and/or accommodations for presenters who receive no financial support from their institution. Please indicate in your cover letter if you would like to be considered for such a subsidy.

‘Spinoza’s Web’

This seminar is part of the ‘Spinoza’s Web’-projected directed by prof. dr. Piet Steenbakkers, and funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO).

Organisers: Piet Steenbakkers, Jeroen van de Ven, Albert Gootjes

Dutch Seminar in Early Modern Philosophy IV

Faculty of Philosophy, University of Groningen (NL), 18-19 February 2017

We are pleased to announce the fourth meeting of the Dutch Seminar in Early Modern Philosophy.

Built on the success of the previous 2014, 2015 and 2016 editions, which brought together scholars from all over Europe and North America, this Seminar aims to bring together advanced students and established scholars working on early modern philosophy (broadly conceived, ranging from the later scholastics to Kant). The intention is to come to a workshop-type of collaboration in order to stimulate scholarly exchange in our field.

The Dutch Seminar is part of the activities of the Groningen Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Thought ( based at the Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Groningen, and of the OZSW Study Group in Early Modern Philosophy. The language of presentation and discussion is English. Please note that this year the Seminar takes place during the weekend (Saturday 18th February whole day, Sunday 19th February until 1pm).

Keynote speakers:

Prof Jeffrey McDonough (Harvard University)

Dr Emily Thomas (University of Groningen / Durham University)


Call for papers

Please send the abstract of your proposed lecture (on any topic relevant to early modern philosophy) to Dr Andrea Sangiacomo ( by October 15, 2016. The abstract must be no longer than 500 words, anonymized for the sake of blind reviewing and sent as a .docx file (please do not use pdf format). The author’s name and contact information (name, affiliation, email and professional status – doctoral student; postdoc; lecturer; etc.) should also be specified in your e-mail message.

The abstracts will be peer-reviewed and you will be notified of the outcome of the review by December 20. We will do our best to send the reviewers’ reports to all participants in order to provide useful feedback on the abstracts.

There are no registration fees. Attendance is free and all listeners are welcome. No financial help, however, can be provided to support travel expenses and accommodation.


Andrea Sangiacomo (

Workshop: A Day with Spinoza, Groningen

The Groningen Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Thought ( is pleased to announce the workshop:

A day with Spinoza: Bodies, Cognition and Society

Faculty of Philosophy, Room Gamma

Oude Boteringestraat 52 – 9712 SC Groningen (NL)

20th April 2016


The workshop aims to bring together scholars at different stages of their career. Participants will present their own works in progress by stimulating discussion on Spinoza’s complex and multifaceted understanding of bodies, cognition and society.



9.00-10.00 Christopher Thomas (University of Aberdeen): From Complex Bodies to a Theory of Art: Spinoza on Beauty and Artistic Bodies.

10.00-11.00 Oliver Istvan Toth (Eotvos Lorand University Budapest): Revisiting the ‘pancreas problem’ in Spinoza from a historical perspective – the case of memories

– Break –

11.15-12.15 Martin Lenz (Groningen): Intersubjectivity in Early Modern Philosophy: Spinoza on the Division of Cognitive Labour

12.15-13.15 Michael A. Rosenthal (University of Washington, Seattle, USA): Spinoza on ‘Beings of Reason’ (Entia Rationis) and the Analogical Imagination

– Lunch Break –

14.45-15.45 Matthew Homan (Christopher Newport University, VA – USA): True Beings of Reason in Spinoza

15.45- 16.45 Liba Kaucky (London University): On the Role of True Worship for True Religion and Political Stability

– Break –

17.00-18.00 Andrea Sangiacomo (Groningen): How to make a State more rational? Spinoza and minorities.

Attendance is free, but registration is appreciated. To register please send a message to

Jonathan Lear, Spinoza Chair lectures

Jonathan Lear will hold the Spinoza Chair at the Department of Philosophy of the University of Amsterdam in the spring of 2016 and will be delivering the accompanying two Spinoza Lectures on ‘Ironic Anthropos’ and ‘The Unconscious and the Meaning of Life’.

Lear’s first Spinoza Lecture is entitled ‘Ironic Anthropos’.

Does the very attempt to give an account of ourselves get in the way of understanding ourselves? We tend to understand ourselves through concepts we apply to ourselves, but these concepts are vulnerable – both to history and to irony. I may understand myself, say, as Crow Indian or as American, as Dutch or as European, but what happens to the concept when, for instance, the form of life in which I participate is devastated, or there is such a disparity of wealth that the idea of representative democracy is threatened, the promise of free speech is turned upside down, or there are massive immigrations of peoples with no desire to adopt a new way of life? And then, as Socrates showed, even concepts that seem impervious to historical shifts – such as teacher or student or doctor – have an uncanny instability built into them. There is always the possibility of an anxious fluctuation between how these concepts are realized in social formations and what they might call one to. How is one to account for that?

Jonathan Lear is the John U. Nef Distinguished Service Professor at the Committee on Social Thought and in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Chicago.  He currently serves as Director of the Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society, a new research institute within the University. Lear trained in philosophy at Cambridge University and The Rockefeller University. He later trained as a psychoanalyst and has been working with low-fee patients for thirty years.  He is a recent recipient of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Distinguished Achievement Award.

His books include: Radical Hope: Ethics in the Face of Cultural Devastation (2006), Aristotle and Logical Theory (1980), Aristotle: the desire to understand (1988); Love and its place in nature: a philosophical interpretation of Freudian psychoanalysis (1990), Open minded: working out the logic of the soul (1998), Happiness, death and the remainder of life (2000), Therapeutic action: an earnest plea for irony (2003), and Freud (2005). His most recent books is A Case for Irony (Harvard University Press, 2011).

Date and time: Thursday, March 10, 2016, at 20:15. The Aula will open at 19:30.

Location: Aula of the University of Amsterdam, Oude Lutherse kerk, Singel 411, Amsterdam

Admission is free (no reservation required).

On Thursday, Thursday, March 24, 2016, at 20:15 Jonathan Lear will give the second Spinoza Lecture entitled ‘The Unconscious and the Meaning of Life’.

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